Photo: IOC / Greg Martin.
Athletes and officials participating in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be encouraged to show their support for the Olympic Truce by signing the Olympic Truce Mural in the Olympic Village.
The Mural was inaugurated at the Olympic Village Plaza today by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020, in the presence of IOC President Thomas Bach, along with the IOC Vice-Presidents, the outgoing members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Tokyo 2020 Village Mayor KAWABUCHI Saburo, Tokyo 2020 President HASHIMOTO Seiko and the Governor of Tokyo, KOIKE Yuriko.
In his speech, the IOC President said: “Today we are inaugurating the Olympic Truce Mural here at the beating heart of the Olympic Games, the Olympic Village. It is here where the Olympic spirit comes to life. The athletes show us that, despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace. This is our Olympic message: yes, it is possible to compete with each other, even for the highest prize, but at the same time to live together peacefully under one roof in the Olympic Village.”
Addressing the athletes who are about to compete in Tokyo, President Bach said: “It is in this Olympic spirit that I invite you to leave your signature on the Olympic Truce Mural, to show your commitment to make a better and more peaceful world through sport.”
During the inauguration ceremony, Tokyo 2020 President HASHIMOTO Seiko stressed: “With the arrival of representatives from all over the world in Tokyo, I believe the time of darkness and division caused by the spread of COVID-19 is slowly coming to an end, and a new era of peace and solidarity is beginning. Here in Tokyo, I hope the athletes will add their signature on the mural, calling as the voice of the Olympic Games for peace all over the world.”
The inauguration of the Olympic Truce Mural took place three days after the Olympic Truce for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 came into effect.
This Olympic Truce was established in the UN resolution entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic Ideal”, which was passed unanimously at the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2019 and was co-sponsored by 186 out of 193 UN Member States, demonstrating the recognition by the UN’s international community of the power of sport and the relevance of the Olympic Games to bring the world together in peaceful competition, providing hope for a better future. The resolution calls for the Olympic Truce to be respected from today to 12 September 2021 – seven days before the start of the Olympic Games until seven days after the Paralympic Games.
A solemn appeal to the UN Member States for the observance of the Olympic Truce for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 was made by the President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, earlier in July. His call was reiterated by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres last week.
The tradition of the Olympic Truce, or “Ekecheiria”, dates back to the 9th century BC in Ancient Greece as a period during which war and conflict were ceased to allow for safe travel to and from the ancient Olympic Games. Today, the Olympic Truce represents the IOC’s aim to inspire peace through sport, as reiterated by President Bach during his visit to Hiroshima earlier in the week.
The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit, civil, non-governmental, international organisation made up of volunteers which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.